Operation Verano (June 28 - August 8, 1958) was the name given to the summer offensive in 1958 by the Batista government during the Cuban Revolution. The offensive was designed to crush Fidel Castro's revolutionary army, which had been growing in strength in the area of the Sierra Maestra hills since their arrival in Cuba onboard the Granma yacht in December 1956. The offensive was met with resistance, notably at the Battle of La Plata and the Battle of Las Mercedes, and failed in its objective. The failure left the Cuban army dispirited and demoralized. Castro viewed it as a victory and soon launched his own offensive.
Throughout 1957, Fidel Castro's small band of revolutionaries operated out of a mountain base, staging hit and run attacks on the government of Batista. The Cuban army and political leadership did not take these attacks seriously for a long time. The attitude of Batista changed in the Spring of 1958 as Castro started to gain international recognition and he called for a General Strike. Batista decided to destroy Castro's small army, so in May 1958, General Eulogio Cantillo was given the mission.
Cantillo's plan was to use nearly all of the Cuban regular army (24 battalions or about 20,000 men) to surround the Sierra Maestra, set up a blockade to prevent weapons from going in, and then attack from the north with 14 battalions. Given the true strength of Castro's forces (about 300 fighters), Cantillo's plan seemed like overkill, but the Cuban military vastly overstated Castro's true strength, they thought Castro had between 1,000 and 2,000 veteran guerrillas.
Batista refused to allocate so many forces to the attack, instead Cantillo was given just 14 battalions (12,000 men), of which 7,000 were new recruits with little training and little incentive to actually fight (in actual battle, the new recruits would rarely fight and often did nothing). Given the fact that Batista would lose control of the country because the offensive failed, this decisio...